The 20 Best Ways to Get Summer Healthy!

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Your Healthy Summer Body Starts Here! 

by Gabrielle Porcaro

Yes, there is still time! With 8 weeks until the official start of summer, now’s your chance to figure out what you need to do to set a course to have your healthiest season yet. Is it that you want to get stronger to be able to do some SUPing on your Hawaiian vacation? Or do you want to set an intention now to start making healthier food choice so you don’t overdo it at every weekend BBQ? Or is it just dropping a few pounds that may have crept on during sweater season? Whatever your goal is, we’ve got the gear and tools to help you get there. From bright activewear pieces, healthy kitchen necessities, or a chic new bathing suit you can’t wait to wear to the beach, this list is your healthy summer body kit. Check out these helpful hints that will help you jumpstart your way to a fun, healthy, and happy summer.

About me? I have covered activewear for over 5 years and tried every workout in NYC. To motivate myself to get in gear for the summer (in particular the Greece vacation I am planning for August) I need to keep things interesting.

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I like to switch up my workouts from spin to yoga to an outdoor run when I am outside of the city. I love dance classes, boxing classes and anything that surprises my muscles into working hard and feeling strong. Gear is also a major motivator — and studies show that this is true across the board, since when we envision ourselves wearing that new pair of workout tights or cute bra, we are creating a blue print for our new fit selves. Sometimes all I need to get excited to get out there and take a run is as simple as a fun pair of leggings. And for eating better, I love to try new healthy recipes, and see if I can serve them to my friends and surprise them that this is actually “good for you” food.

Find what works for you, on the list on Hinted, and turn getting healthy and fit from a chore to a fun new activity. Check out the Your Healthy Summer Starts Now list here.

5 Easy Ways to De-Stress During the Holidays

 

By Nicole Kwan

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The end of the year (and everything that brings) is sneaking up on us– fast. Before you let yourself get super-overwhelmed, take stock on what you can do for your own self-care so you always have little ways to find calm. Bring these with you when you’re rushing toward that end-of-year work deadline, dealing with family travel plans, or exhausted from back-to-back holiday parties (lucky you!).

Here are a few of my favorite ways to stay sane through the holidays, and a few items on my destress wish list.

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1. Add plants to your home.

 

Bringing greenery inside can turn your place into your own little refuge, especially when nothing is flourishing outside. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that interacting with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress. Plus, NASA research found that houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins, so you’ll have cleaner air to breathe.

The Philodendron Green plant above from The Sill is good for beginner plant parents!

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  1. Curl up to a (fake) fireplace.

No, I’m not talking about the fireplace channel on your TV. I found this Wildwood Candle Co. soy candle in Portland, Oregon and the crackling wood wick and fragrance make me feel like I’m in front of a roaring fireplace. A study from the University of Alabama found that sitting by a fire reduced blood pressure, and for me, even the one candle does the trick. The Firelane I candle has notes of smoked woods, balsam, and pine, making it perfect for a city apartment wishing it was in the country.

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  1. Drink booze-free cocktails.

Drinking to de-stress is a common default, but alcohol really isn’t the best long-term solution. Non-alcoholic cocktails at bars are becoming more of a thing (Grub Street said so!), and you can do the same for yourself at home. Seedlip calls itself the “world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits.” Their Spice 94 is aromatic, earthy, and woodsy and their Garden 108 is herbal, grassy, and floral. Serve them with tonic or mixers.

Not convinced to go dry? A small British study found that “normal” drinkers who stopped drinking for five weeks reported better sleep and concentration.

 

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4. Indulge in a bath house visit.

Last year, I stumbled upon Aire Ancient Baths in Seville and a visit to the New York City location has been on my wishlist. Going to the candle-lit bath house is like a ritual: You move through each bath at your own pace, experiencing temperatures ranging from 102 to 50 degrees F, and taking a float in a salt water bath. The hot water relaxes muscle tension while the cold water is reinvigorating.

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  1. Hand wash your delicates.

 

Most of the time, you probably throw your bras into the laundry with your clothes, but taking the time to hand wash is worth it (and nicer to your bras!). Plus, most of the time is hands off when you leave your delicates in to soak. I use the Linden wash from Journelle, which is made from plant-derived ingredients and doesn’t have sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, or parabens. I love that the delicate scent lingers and reminds me to slow down.

For me, this covers de-stressing in a number of ways. First, it makes me slow down and practice a little mindfulness by paying attention to the process and noticing everything from the water temperature to the fragrance. Plus, a Princeton University study found that physical clutter increases stress, so checking laundry off my to-do list and moving clean clothes into my drawers is good for my brain.

Fore more ways to de-stress this crazy busy season check out the Hinted list here.

5 Ways to Get Better Sleep — Tonight and Every Night

One in 10 adults experience insomnia as a chronic condition, and about 50 percent have had trouble with it at some point in their life, according to the Cleveland Clinic. 50 percent! It’s a little bit jarring to think that so many of us have a hard time getting rest — but since you’re here reading this, we’d venture to guess that your one of those people that either have trouble falling asleep at night or are habitually wake up at 3 a.m. without being able to drift off into sweet slumber again. How to get a better night’s sleep is a question that plagues almost everyone’s mind at one time or another.

We’ve all heard the usual sleep hygiene tips like avoiding caffeine, exercising regularly and switching of electronic devices a couple hours before bed — but what happens when those supposedly tried-and-true tips don’t work?

We asked Nicole Kwan, a health writer and editor, to create a list of her best recommendations to give your body a fighting chance to fall into quality, restorative sleep and stay snoozing all night long.

Try out these Hints and see her full list here — but remember, chronic insomnia is a serious condition. If you can’t sleep for prolonged periods of time, please see your doctor.

More: Why You Should Be Using CBD Products Every Damn Day

1. Switch Up Your Lighting

You know that too much screen time before bed is a bad thing, but do you know why? They’re powered by blue light — and according to Harvard research, blue light at night can suppress the secretion of melatonin (the hormone that tells your body to switch into sleep mode). While any kind of light is bad for melatonin production on one level or another, Harvard researchers found that blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as green light and can shift circadian rhythms by twice as much.

Your phone already has a built-in bluelight filter option, but what about your actual lights? Turns out even LED bulbs that look white give off a bluer hue. Harvard research suggests using dim red lights for night lights because they found that red light has the least power to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin. Swap your normal nightstand bulb for one with a warmer, red hue, like Lighting Science’s GoodNight bulb.

2. Shower Before Hitting the Sack

Showering about 90 minutes before bed not only helps wash the day away, but some research shows it actually helps make you sleepy.

“The body naturally cools down as bedtime approaches, in sync with the circadian rhythm,” Dr. Janet K. Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and sleep expert in New York told the New York Times. “Showering artificially raises the temperature again and allows for a faster cool down, which seems to hasten sleep.”

To double down on your sleepy shower, use this softening body lotion from Lush after for its calming and balancing lavender. According to a study published on the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, Lavender can cause central nervous system depression. Translation: It relaxes your nerves and makes you ready for bed.

More: 5 Expert Tips On How to Crush Your Health Goals During the Holidays

3. Roll on Some Essential Oils

Essential oils have been around since the dawn of time practically, but they’ve been enjoying a Renaissance of sorts for the past couple years — and for good reason. They totally work.

A body of research shows that essential oils can provide relief for disrupted sleep and improve sleep quality in adults,” says The Sleep Doctor, Dr. Michael Breus. “A 2017 study compared the effects of aromatherapy and acupressure massage on sleep quality and overall quality of life in women. Researchers found that a blend of sleep-promoting essential oils worked more effectively to improve both sleep quality and quality of life than acupressure. The blended oil was also more effective at improving sleep than a single essential oil.”

So, in other words, blends rule. If your thoughts race when you’re trying to rest, start a new nighttime ritual with this 21 Drops Sleep Roll On. The essential oil blend includes organic sandalwood to help quiet the mind, organic palmarosa to reduce anxiousness, and organic ylang ylang to encourage peace. The ritual part comes in the application: Starting 30 minutes before bed, roll it in a circle five times to your temples, wrist, and neck and breathe. Repeat.

4. Wake Up With the “Sun”

When your phone is your alarm, your choice of tone always ends up being a little… jarring. The Philips Wake-Up Light offers a choice of five soothing nature sounds that won’t cause you to startle yourself awake.

But that’s not the most interesting part — the alarm simulates a sunrise, with light increasing gradually, which helps you wake up more naturally. The sound only chimes in when the “sun” is fully up. And remember how you’re supposed to avoid blue light at night because it squelches melatonin production? You want the opposite to happen in the morning, so exposing yourself to subtle blue light helps wake you, according to Very Well Health.

Our list writer Nicole Kwan has used the Wake-Up Light for about four years and she says it definitely makes waking up more pleasant and she’s more energized throughout the day.

5. Try a Weighted Blanket

We’ve seen them around as ways to help pets with anxiety, but turns out that weighted blankets might be just as soothing for humans.

There aren’t a lot of independent studies on weighted blankets, but researchers have found that deep pressure stimulation is calming for anxiety, and Raj Dasgupta, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California and a spokesman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, says the blankets may help people with anxiety, depression and chronic pain sleep better, according to WebMD.

“It’s like having the best hug for a long period of time,” he says, adding the blankets may be ”a good alternative to life-long sedative hypnotic medications (sleeping pills) at night.”

Sounds like it’s worth giving a go, right? Try the Gravity Blanket, which is engineered to be about 10 percent of your body weight.

Do you have any tips for getting better sleep? Let us know in the comments!

5 Expert Tips On How to Crush Your Health Goals During the Holidays

For a lot of us, the “I’m never doing this to myself again” moment happens every Thanksgiving when we stuff ourselves silly with broccoli casserole, turkey, mashed potatoes and three pieces of pumpkin pie — and wash it all down with wine, wine and more wine. Turkey Day is the notorious kick-off of an unhealthy season, and every year we vow that this year things will be different. This year, we will we stay on track and stay healthy during the holidays. We won’t overeat during the time period between the last Thursday in November and December 31st ever again.

OK, back to reality. Of course we will slide off the mountain at some point during the holidays (what is Thanksgiving for?), but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep on track as a rule.

Nadja Pinnavaia, Founder & CEO of Euphebe Healthcare.

So how does one stay on track when there’s temptation lurking around every corner? Preparation is definitely key, and we are studying the list PreHoliday Body ReBoot top to bottom. It’s basically a manual to keep us healthy and sane all through November and December.

Plus, it’s written by Nadja Pinnavaia, Ph.D., who happens to be the Founder & CEO of Euphebe — a company committed to health and bringing back real food — so we know it’s legit.

“The list was inspired by how to combine having fun, looking after yourself and feeling festive while still feeling good,” says Nadja. “It is based upon the premise that if we get our core nutrition right by having nutritious, predominantly plant-based meals, we’ll feel better and have more energy.”

More: The Secret to Comfortable Holiday Dressing

Here are more of Nadja’s tips for staying healthy during the holidays.

1. Start Your Day Off on the Right Foot

Nutiva Raw-Shelled Hempseed, $13.48; at Amazon

That’s right, the old adage rings true: You can’t be your best if you don’t eat a good breakfast. And if you eat something nutritionally satisfying and filling in the morning, you’ll be less tempted by those Christmas cookies your co-worker brings into the office.

“Starting off with a good breakfast is important, which is why I start off with a slice of Ezekiel bread topped with avocado, hemp seeds and some baby spinach,” Nadja told us.

Hemp seeds (like these from Nutiva) are loaded with protein ad omega-3s that are good for your brain, so meal is a gift that keeps giving throughout the day.

2. Make Time for Meditation

Our days can get a little hectic when it’s not the holiday season, so a lot of us start to feel a little overloaded and fried-out when the holidays hit. Taking a moment to get some zen in is key during this stressful time of year.

“Days are fun yet packed, so a bit of meditation in the evening helps the brain noise quiet down,” advises Nadja.

3. Work It

Physique 57 OnDemand, $19.95 a month

Indulging this time of year is inevitable. We’re not gonna deny it. That just means exercise is a even more important to keep us feeling good.

“I think exercise is a great way to feel better, especially after a night out,” says Nadja.

The only problem? Who wants to go to the gym after after chowing down on chocolate Santas or hitting the party circuit extra hard? Not us. The key is staying motivated with exercise that you actually enjoy. Nadja loves Physique 57, which is OnDemand so you can work out from the comfort of your own home.

4. Get Your ZZZs

Stress makes it hard to sleep, which makes things tough when you need all the energy you can muster to shop for gifts or hit holiday soirees. Make sure to keep track of how much rest you are getting so you don’t over-do it.

“I love my Withings Steel HR watch, that monitors everything including my sleep!” says Nadja.

More: A History of the “No White After Labor Day” Rule (& Why We’re Ignoring It)

5. Do Good 

The ReNew Lightweight Half-Zip Puffer, $98; at Everlane

‘Tis the season to give back, right? Nothing beats the holiday blahs better than doing good.

“I really care about what’s happening to our planet,” says Nadja. “I know that a plant-based diet massively limits the drain on our planetary resources, so when I saw Everlane was making jackets from recycled plastic, I thought that was super cool!”

 

 

Check out Nadja’s full list here and then tell us: What are your tips for staying healthy during the holidays?

Why You Should Be Using CBD Products Every Damn Day

Unless you’ve been avoiding the internet for the past 5 years or so (which we’re assuming you haven’t, since you’re here right now), you’re probably aware that ganja is in. Recreational marijuana is now legal in nine states, medical pot is legal in 30 — and we’re willing to bet more states will jump on board in the coming years.

And though we don’t advocate for the abuse of a substance of any kind and adhere to Cher Horowitz rule that it’s “one thing to spark up a doobie and get laced at parties, but it is quite another to be fried all day,” it’s hard to argue with the fact that marijuana, and even more specifically CBD, has major health benefits — which is exactly why the Hinted list Must Have CBD Products got our attention.

CBD Oil Benefits: You Should Be Using These Products Every Damn Day | Hinted
CannaSmack Luxe Hydrating Cleansing Oil, $20-$60 at CannaSmack.

While it may be true that the use of marijuana has become more acceptable in recent years, and the stereotype of the skeevy, lazy stoner is starting to fade. But the stigma against people who use marijuana products is not totally gone. Which, to be honest, is a damn shame — especially since there are a lot of amazing products that don’t even have THC, the element of marijuana that causes you to get high. If alcohol can be totally mainstream, why can’t marijuana products? You can’t rub vodka on your face and expect it to be glowing and hydrated (quite the opposite, actually), unlike this CannaSmack Luxe Hydrating Cleansing Oil that is pretty much moisturizing magic for your skin.

We wanted to get the facts about CBD (and bust some myths), so we went straight to the source and asked Kate Dittloff, the author of Must Have CBD Products, about the miracle product and gained even more respect for the stuff than we even had before. Kate says she discovered a topical CBD salve on a trip to California that helped her with what she describes as “pretty severe neck issues,” which led her to try CBD Honey. The rest, as they say, was history.

Here are some reasons you should be utilizing CBD on a daily basis.

More: The Secret to Glowing Skin 

Adios to Pain

CBD Oil Benefits: You Should Be Using These Products Every Damn Day | Hinted
Shea Brand CBD Natural Pain Reliever Salve, $30; at Shea Brand.

Yes, we want you to get in on all the yummy beauty benefits of CBD (and did we mention it can light your sex life on fire?), but the greatest benefit of CBD is definitely pain mitigation. Kate swears by the stuff for her chronic pain issues.

“With my neck pain and issues, I often wake-up unable to even turn my head, it really sucks!,” she says. “First thing in the morning, right after my shower I use CBD Salve (my go-to now is Shea Brand CBD Natural Pain Reliever mentioned in my list) which loosens up my neck and helps reduce the pain within a few minutes.”

She adds the CBD Honey to her morning and evening tea and finds it helps her manage pain throughout her whole day.

“I’m also an avid surfer, and when there’s good surf here on Folly beach, I’ll be out for hours on end,” Kate adds. “Needless to say, this does not make my neck very happy and puts a ton of stress on it, but quitting surfing is not an option. On those days where I know that I’ll be out in the water, I always use the salve, take the honey, but also add CBD gummies which I’ve found are very long lasting.”

Bonus: Pets can totally get in on the CBD-for-pain-management train, too.

You’ll Sleep Better

“I can’t say enough regarding how much CBD has helped me manage my neck pain, but also has helped with my anxiety and sleep,” says Kate, who adds that drinking her CBD tea before bed not only helps pain, but helps her sleep soundly through the night without waking up several times like she used to.

More: Got the Cold Weather Blues? These Outfits Will Totally Give You a Lift

It’s a Natural Alternative

CBD Oil Benefits: You Should Be Using These Products Every Damn Day | Hinted
Inner Peace Edible Nano CBD Blend, $86.99; at Mowellens.

Are you worried about the negative impact over-the-counter medications might be having on your body? CBD to the rescue!

“I love CBD because it’s all natural and actually reduces inflammation, and because of dietary restrictions I’m unable to take ibuprofen, so when it comes to reducing that inflammation, CBD does the trick!” says Kate. “I recommend it to all of my friends and family who’ve had similar issues and have only gotten awesome feedback. Personally I prefer the all-natural solution as opposed to this that have chemicals and components that were created in a lab.”

No High Necessary

This is the major myth we wanted to bust about CBD: You can take full advantage of its benefits without getting stoned.

“I think there is a major misconception and unnecessary worry that CBD will get you high and have psychoactive affects, it absolutely does not!,” Kate revealed. “Not once when I’ve used CBD, whether it’s through a vaporizer, orally or via topical solutions, have I ever felt under the influence or high.”

If you want to incorporate CBD into your life, but aren’t really sure how, check out Kate’s full list here.